The most and least affordable places to buy a house in the North East have been revealed

Houses at Whitley Bay
Credit: PA images

First-time buyers face spending at least six times their annual wages to get on the property ladder in nearly half (45%) of Britain's local authority areas as affordability becomes more stretched.

Back in 2016, just over a third (35%) of local authority areas had average house price-to-earnings ratios of six or more, according to the analysis by Nationwide Building Society.

The report used official house price and earnings data from 2021.

Andrew Harvey, a senior economist at Nationwide, said: "North Tyneside is the least affordable area within the North East, although average prices are only around four times average earnings, so this is still relatively affordable compared to some of the other locations in our list.

"The North East region also has the smallest gap between the least and most affordable authorities. County Durham has the lowest house price-to-earnings ratio at 3.1."

The race for more living space during the pandemic may have priced some first-time buyers out of the market in more rural areas. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

"In Yorkshire and the Humber, the district of Ryedale in North Yorkshire continues to have the highest house price-to-earnings ratio, despite seeing weaker price growth over the last year than most of the region. This predominately rural area includes towns such as Malton and Pickering.

"Barnsley has replaced North East Lincolnshire as the most affordable area in Yorkshire and the Humber, he said. Affordability in Craven, which includes the market town of Skipton in Yorkshire, has improved since 2016, with the average first-time buyer house price-to-earnings ratio decreasing from 6.5 to 5.5.

Mr Harvey added: "The least affordable area in the North West government region is South Lakeland in Cumbria, which includes parts of the popular Lake District national park, including Ambleside and Windermere.

"Copeland remains the most affordable area in the North West of England, despite average prices rising 11% over the past year," he said.

Here are the least affordable local authority areas for first-time buyers in Britain's nations and regions, according to Nationwide Building Society, with the average house price-to-earnings ratio:

  • London, Kensington and Chelsea, 14.7

  • South East, Oxford, 10.1

  • East of England, Hertsmere, 10.0

  • South West, Cotswold, 8.6

  • East Midlands, Rutland, 7.3

  • Yorkshire and the Humber, Ryedale, 7.0

  • West Midlands, Malvern Hills, 6.8

  • North West, South Lakeland, 6.7

  • Wales, Vale of Glamorgan, 6.4

  • Scotland, City of Edinburgh, 5.9

  • North East, North Tyneside, 4.3

And here are the most affordable places for first-time buyers in each area:

  • Scotland, East Ayrshire, 2.4

  • North West, Copeland, 2.8

  • North East, County Durham, 3.1

  • Wales, Merthyr Tydfil, 3.4

  • Yorkshire and the Humber, Barnsley, 3.7

  • West Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent, 3.8

  • East Midlands, Bolsover, 4.0

  • East of England, Great Yarmouth, 5.0

  • South West, Swindon, 5.4

  • South East, Southampton, 5.6

  • London, Bromley, 7.4